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CREATEC 2012 Symposium – Call For Papers

Monday, 16 July 2012


Confirmed Speakers: Associate Professor Barbara Bolt (University of Melbourne), Dr. Brad Pettitt (Mayor of the City of Fremantle) and Brodie McCulloch (Managing Director of SiiWA, Social Innovation in Western Australia)

From the Queensland floods, Christchurch earthquake and Global Financial Crisis to social conflicts, psychological breaking points and relationship failures, catastrophe occurs at diverse scales. The word catastrophe derives from the Greek katastrophe, ‘an overturning; a sudden end’, but has been associated with disaster only since the 1700s. In its original sense, catastrophe simply connoted ‘a reversal of what is expected’, specifically a defining turn in a drama. The 2012 CREATEC Symposium 'Catastrophe & Creativity' will address human response to catastrophe in its myriad manifestations and hues: geographical, economic and ecological as well as emotional, existential and interpersonal. In particular, the Symposium will highlight the connections between catastrophe and creativity, including the forward-thinking responses of artists, writers, theorists and scientists to crises of different kinds and scales. The Symposium organisers invite participants to consider the theme of catastrophe broadly: from natural disasters to psychological reversals, from debilitating personal meltdowns to regenerative ecological solutions. Creative papers, including performances, readings or exhibitions, are especially welcome.

Areas for consideration include background papers and creative responses to:

  • representations of catastrophes in dance, drama, visual art, music, film and literature;
  • floods, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes;
  • ecological and health-related catastrophes;
  • psychological, emotional, ontological and interpersonal catastrophes;
  • catastrophe as an impetus for (or intrinsic to) creativity;
  • responding to ‘reversals of what is expected’ as a researcher;
  • catastrophe in the media; and
  • ethics and creative research

The Symposium will include an exhibition of visual art on the theme.

Please direct all enquiries and paper abstracts to For creative presentations, please also specify your requirements.

The deadline for submission of abstracts (200-250 words) is Friday 21 September 2012.


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